Brendan Haywood: Coach Pitino Is Best Coach In The ACC

Mike Krzyzewski got the better of Rick Pitino on Thursday, as No. 14 Duke beat No. 10 Louisville, 81-77, in the ACC quarterfinals. The Blue Devils (25-8) will face North Carolina (27-6) in the semifinals Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

Krzyzewksi has won five national titles, and he has more than enough talent to win his sixth.

But he’s not the best coach in the ACC. Not according to Brendan Haywood, at least.

“For me, it’s Coach Pitino,” the CBS Sports analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I really like what Coach Pitino does. He gets the most out of his players. He gives you multiple looks. From a defensive standpoint, he might press you, he might go man-to-man with some half-court pressure, he might go into a zone – you never what Coach Pitino is going to do. He’s very matchup-oriented, and I think that plays a lot into his favor.”

And while North Carolina or Duke might have the most talent in the ACC, Haywood believes that Florida State (24-7) has the most depth.

“Florida State comes at you in waves,” Haywood said. “They have so many big bodies they can go throw at you, and then they have (Dwayne) Bacon, they have (Xavier Rathan-Mayes), they have Jonathan Isaac. So they have a lot of different guys they can throw at you. They’re all long, athletic, and they can do some different things.”

The ACC could get 10 NCAA Tournament bids this year. In fact, some college basketball analysts believe the ACC has never been better.

Haywood is one of those analysts.

“I think this is the best the ACC has ever been because it’s the deepest they’ve ever been,” he said. “This (league) has six to seven ranked teams. Some teams that aren’t ranked are still very strong. When you look at how good Carolina is, you look at a team like UVA – they finished sixth. How good does your conference have to be for a team like UVA to finish sixth? Duke, Louisville,  FSU, Notre Dame – the conference is stacked. Miami came on strong at the end of the season. So there’s so many talented teams that has so many talented ball-players. I think this is definitely the best the ACC’s had.”

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